At Apple’s March event today, the company announced ResearchKit, a software framework that allows medical researchers to get data directly from iPhone users.
The company said that users can sign up to participate in medical research and use their iPhones as diagnostic tools.
One example the company gave is a study for Parkinson’s disease that asks the user to perform quick tests on their phone to help diagnose it.
Apple is working with other universities and research institutes to build apps that help users measure aspects of their health.
One app, for Asthma, is aimed at helping those affected manage when to use their inhaler and understand how often it’s used.
Privacy is obviously a major concern with ResearchKit, so you can decide which data to share and Apple will never see it.
The company hopes that it will help change the way clinical studies are made; it’s currently very difficult to get people to participate in studies.
A short video shown during the event noted that one study sent out 60,000 letters to potential participants and only received about 300 replies.Many institutions are hoping that making it easier to opt-in will provide unprecedented amounts of data for studies.
Apple said ResearchKit will be available as an open-source project.